Monday, July 11, 2011

Aguan Biogas Project linked to serious Human Rights

Violations in Honduras One of the CDM projects currently seeking registration is the “Aguan biogas recovery from Palm Oil Mill Effluent ponds and biogas utilisation” (Project 3197).

The company behind the project, Grupo Dinant subsidiary Exportadora del Atlantico, is implicated in assassinations and other serious human rights abuses in Honduras and there are grave concerns that additional funding through the CDM, could be used to to pay for more armed paramilitaries.

A second CDM application by the same project participants – Exportadora del At-lantico and EDF Trading, authorised by the UK government – is awaiting validation by TUV SUED, which also wrote the validation report for the Aguan project. That project is called “Lean Biogas recovery from Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) ponds and biogas / biomass utilisation”. The Aguan and Lean projects would, if approved, generate around 23,000 and 25,500 CERs annually, generating about €276,000 and €306,000 respectively.

Following the registration request, a review related to concerns about additionality was requested by Board members. Indeed, additionality concerns seem valid: the validation report accepts assertions made in the PDD according to which the com-pany had only obtained a private bank loan, not loans or grants from international development banks. Yet in 2009, Exportadora del Atlantico obtained a $30 million loan from the World Bank‘s International Finance Corporation and a $7million loan from the Inter-American Investment Corporation. Both loans were partly granted for biogas production from palm oil residues but are not mentioned in the PDD. However, a letter to the CDM Executive Board by Biofuelwatch, Salva la Selva/Rettet den Re-genwald and CDM Watch outlines additional concerns that should also be addressed when reviewing the project. More [PDF] >>>

Location: Cayman Islands